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Close Combat: U.S. Tank Crew

MiniArt 1/35 Close Combat: U.S. Tank Crew Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Images by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2012 Manufacturer MiniArt
Subject Close Combat: U.S. Tank Crew Scale 1/35
Kit Number 35135 Primary Media 62 parts in grey styrene
Pros Related actions and uniforms enable use of these figures in either group or single applications Cons Poses may seem a bit artificial
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $23.00

First Look

Close Combat: U.S. Tank Crew

Most US tanker figures released until now represent crews in the vehicles in relatively static poses or more studious activities such as using the radio. This new set from Miniarm provides five US tankers outside of their vehicle in various combat poses. Three are using M3 "grease guns" , one has a .45 pistol drawn, and the fifth man is operating the commander's M2HB machine gun from the engine deck of a tank.

Each figure consists of six basic parts (head, torso, arms and legs) with a four-part tanker's helmet and goggles where appropriate. Four are wearing the HBT combat uniform and one the woolen trousers; three have tanker's jackets.

Four of the figures appear based on a series of color photos from "Life" magazine during the war where they are "defending" their tank from the enemy; while the artist (Karashchuk) has shown one looking like Telly Savalas from "Battle of the Bulge" the originals were mostly posing with grim faces and weapons. The fifth figure is based on a famous photo of the 8th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, with the man hanging on the handles of the machine gun on the engine deck of a Sherman while blasting away at German soldiers. All of the poses are dynamic and can be used for an "action" diorama.

As the figures of the four men with small arms are related, they can be used for a diorama or vignette, and with some work all five could be used. They may also be used separately but as they are well suited to "work" with each other I think that is the best option.

Overall this is a nice idea and an option not previously available in styrene.

Thanks to MRC for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • ‒ 33 Figures A, B, and C
  • ‒ 29 Figures D and E, weapons